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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady Boots

There’s no Saw.


Instead, we have an animated cat with a knife. Business is okay, not sensational. It’s at about the Rango level… a wisp behind. Still, given that there hasn’t been an animated $20m opening in October since Shark Tale, not bad. Look for mid-30s at the end of the weekend.

Interestingly, Puss seems to be the first serious blockade to Real Steel, which did a great job of getting the movie into the family market without being fully able to market to kids because of the rating. This will be Steel’s biggest drop. Meanwhile, it’s closing in on $100m overseas and it still hasn’t opened in heavyweight countries like Japan, Germany, or China.

Paranormal Activity 3 has an estimated 65% drop Friday-to-Friday, but keep that massive midnight Thursday push in mind. Expect a drop in the low-mid 50s when all is done. The Friday number here is more than 15% better than the second Friday for PA2 and the movie is $14m ahead overall. So Paramount has to be thrilled with the second weekend numbers. (They might want to send a fruit basket over to Lionsgate for not Saw-ing off some of the horror-ween money.)

On the other hand, $12 million and a cloud of bust can’t be too thrilling for Fox on In Time… or Justin Timberlake for that matter. This is his second lead since The Social Network and his second underperforming opening. Two things define movie stardom. 1. Open movies. 2. Make great movie choices that have legs. JT is a star, but he needs a real hit to become a movie star. Meanwhile, Amanada Seyfried’s people are probably feeling great about the dark hair about now… if they could only get imdb to pull the credit from her page. (It’s always possible that Fox International could find an audience overseas for this film and keep it out of the red. But it will be tough.)

The Rum Diary is Film District’s fourth release. Honestly, I don;’t know if it’s an output deal… but it feels like one. Late into the game and festival avoidant, it just smells funny… especially for a Depp movie. Johnny did the rounds. But a $5m launch is an oddity in his history. Usually it’s a movie that no one wants to see (whether of quality or not) or a smash (whether of quality or not). Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark took lumps (unfairly, I feel) for its box office. It will be curious to see whether the press is gentler on Johnny.

While the holds last weekend seemed remarkable for the holdovers, this weekend, they seem remarkably weak. Only one Top 10 holdover out of seven is looking at a better than 49% hold for the weekend.

Two studio movies are opening in limited release this weekend. Sony’s Anonymous settled on 265 screens for a word-of-mouth effort. They just haven’t been able to convince enough people with advertising for this story. It looks like they’ll be around $3500 per screen for the weekend, which isn’t a disaster of 2012 proportions, but does explain why they are taking some more time to try to move this film forward. Audiences have enjoyed it. You just need to find a way to get them to see it.

The other one is Paramount’s Sundance acquisition, Like Crazy, which has been word-of-mouth screening like crazy and is looking at a $30k-$40k per screen over the weekend on just 4 screens. Good number. No a phenom number. But a solid start.

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47 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady Boots”

  1. movieman says:

    Wow. “RA.One” did better–and on fewer screens, no less-than “Anonymous.” Hail, Bollywood.
    Nice bow for “Like Crazy,” despite the middling Dargis review in the Times. (But wasn’t Paramount Vantage phased out eons ago?)
    That $75 per-screen average for “All’s Faire” must be some kind of new record, isn’t it? Kinda makes “The Mighty Macs” look like “Dark of the Moon” by comparison.

  2. EthanG says:

    Fox had another half-hearted marketing effort with “In Time…” not as limp as its last few movies but close. It makes you wonder whether the subject matter/timing had anything to do with its decision….then again I’m startin to wonder if Fox even cares about domestic box office anymore after a year of great foreign and poor domestic performances and marketing campaigns.

  3. bulldog68 says:

    So the age old debate on who has the greater box office prowess between JD and Will Smith rings up another session. If you cant out open Justin Timberlake are you #1. Granted Rum Diary was never destined to be a blockbuster, but isn’t the whole point of having a big star in your ‘hard to sell to mainstream audiences’ pic, supposed to bring more audiences to said pic?

    If JD wasn’t in Rum Diary, and say it was Jude Law, or Ryan Reynolds, or Chris Pine, or James Franco, or Josh Duhamel, would there have been much difference in this $6M opening? Shouldn’t JD at least be able to guarantee at least a $10M minimum for no matter what he’s in, even if it isn’t a Pirates or a Tim Burton reimagining?

    And besides, looking at the trailer for Rum Diary, it’s not that far off from the Jack Sparrow character anyway.

  4. My two cents: Here is an easy way to deduce the whole Will Smith vs. Johnny Depp debate: Would Johnny Depp have been able to open Seven Pounds to $15m and take the film to $168m worldwide? Probably not… Would Will Smith’s The Secret Window have opened to at least $19m and gotten to at least $93m worldwide? Probably…

  5. LexG says:

    Is “All’s Faire” worth driving to Alhambra (wherever that is) for Ricci completists? I’m assuming not.

    Also, for fellow worn-out regular multiplex goers who’ve had to try to squeeze in 5-6 movies a week since mid-August, is next weekend actually the first weekend since summer with only ONE (thank God) new major release? Then 11-11 goes right back to clusterfuck territory: Watch as Immortals and Sandler duke it out, as movie bloggers wonder WHAT WENT WRONG? as J. Edgar opens at number 7.

    Also re: RUM DIARY: I don’t quite know how to phrase this, and I haven’t seen it, but does it give the air of being a Bully Movie? I don’t mean in a frat-jock kind of way, but the whole thing has this air of you having to be “in the know” to get it– Fear and Loathing had this too– like it’s this mean-spirited drinking/drug humor where the audience will be mostly hipsters, film geeks and old groovers trying to out-laugh each other in the theater to show how “hardcore” they are, how Hunter Thompson-Bukowski skid-row “edgy” they are… Just seems like a TOTAL sausage fest vibe, where there’d be a lot of people who smoke weed going to, say, the Vista theater and having up this armor of fake-scrappy edginess going; I can’t picture any woman really wanting to see it. It looks MEAN.

  6. JKill says:

    I’m thankful for the slowed down schedule in the next couple of weeks. I’m so behind on moviegoing, I’m probably going to have to miss a few things here and there that I would prefer to see theatrically.

  7. movieman says:

    Hey, Lex- “Harold and Kumar 3-D” and “Tower Heist” both open in wide release next weekend.
    I think the next w-end with precious little going on movie-wise is December 2nd.

  8. Martin s says:

    JT’s a star? I’d say a celebrity moreso.

  9. EthanG says:

    I just wish he’d go back to music making. Not saying he’s a bad actor at all, but “FutureSex/Lovesounds” was a modern masterpiece.

  10. chris says:

    “All’s Faire” is not horrendous, Lex, and she’s the best thing in it, but I suspect you could take a pass on it. (No skin unless you count Ricci and Ann-Margret cleavage.) And, FWIW, I hate “Fear and Loathing,” but love “Rum Diary.” It’s as odd and funny as you’d expect a Bruce Robinson movie to be.

  11. torpid bunny says:

    Rum Diary ads reached pretty good saturation. Seems like they were trying to sell it more like a Rango kind of cheery romance with some mild recreational drinking. Which is not what I imagine Thompson to be about, but I don’t know.

  12. David Poland says:

    Is JD vs WS really a debate?

    Not close.

  13. LexG says:

    Having just seen it, why did Fox soft-sell IN TIME??? Not only is it mostly terrific (second half is a standard pursuit flick after a beautiful opening hour), but it’s as TIMELY as could be, basically the Occupy Wall Street-era version of They Live in terms of being a far-left movie that still plays as an ass-kicking rallying cry. Maybe the fact that no one’s been jumping up and down about it helped adjust my expectations accordingly, but I thought it was awesome. And Timberlake was a pretty solid non-smirking leading man, plus Seyfried, plus Wilde, plus Matt Bomer, plus Cillian Murphy… and the first non-annoying Alex Pettyfer performance I’ve seen as the bad guy.

  14. mary says:

    At least, Amanada Seyfried is still a stable $10 million-plus opener.

  15. LexG says:

    Also worth noting, SEYFRIED (LOOK AT HER) has “top” billing over JT in the end credits… Or at least they do the “equal stars” side-by-side thing with Amanda’s name first.

  16. cadavra says:

    If the designation of “movie star” is the ability to open a picture–good or bad–on one’s name, then Depp certainly merits a huge-ass asterisk. His popularity rests almost enitrely on two factors: Jack Sparrow and Tim Burton. Throw those two out, and only TWO live-action films in which he has a leading role have grossed over $60 million (PUBLIC ENEMIES at 97 and TOURIST at 67). Not a knock on Depp at all, but certainly those who see him as some sort of magic bullet are, if not drinking the Kool-Aid, certainly holding the glass to their lips.

  17. LexG says:

    Yeah, but using that reasoning, then in 1984 you could’ve said, “Hey, take away INDIANA JONES and HAN SOLO, and Harrison Ford is the FRISCO KID/HANOVER STREET guy! NOT A MOVIE STAR!”


  18. movielocke says:

    didn’t TinTin open internationally this weekend? Should you guys be posting an addendum with Tintin’s numbers at the end of the regular domestic charts?

  19. I would kinda agree with that statement, Lex. Point being, Harrison Ford’s reign as one of the biggest stars in the world arguably ran from 1989-2000, when he had a bunch of hits, including one Indy film, the three Star Wars re-releases (how much ‘credit’ he gets for those is debatable), but a bunch of other films that were smashes and/or solid hits (Patriot Games, Fugitive, Clear and Present Danger, Air Force One, Six Days Seven Nights, What Lies Beneath). Again, not saying that 1980s Harrison Ford wasn’t a star (Witness and Working Girl were solid hits), but he wasn’t in the Tom Cruise league until after Indy III.

  20. EthanG says:

    LexG, it seems a little awkward that Fox is releasing this movie now while Fox News is busy attacking Occupy Wall Street. The day of the movie’s release they released a poll where they asked people if they “were afraid the protests would turn into street riots.”

    It’s in the realm of possibility that News Corp pressured the studio into a soft sell.

  21. actionman says:

    In Time POWER. Niccol POWER. LOVED the flick.

  22. EthanG says:

    Perhaps not Joe, but De Niro’s minor role characterization in a B-movie grindhouse flick is a little bit different. Fox News has a 24/7 drumbeat against Occupy Wall Street. “In Time’s” use of “the 99%,” and “class warfare” is so uncannily timely that it’d be like Fox Searchlight distributing “Inside Job.”

    On the flipside, the Fox TV channel shows “Glee” and the most tasteless reality shows out there, and big Fox released Wall Street 2….I just think this movie is a tad embarrasing for News Corp.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    There was a lot more than just De Niro’s performance in Machete to piss off the Faux News crowd.

  24. EthanG says:

    Yes, everyone knows to take the political message of a movie where Lindsay Lohan has a topless 3-way with Danny Trejo and the character who plays her mom seriously.

  25. Joe Leydon says:

    About as seriously as a sci-fi couple-on-the-run action-adventure starring the guy who sang “Cock in a Box.” LOL.

  26. EthanG says:

    Or a series of movies about a future earth where humans are enslaved by gorillas and chimpanzees starring at times, the head of the National Rifle Association and a current actor on “General Hospital.” LOL

  27. Joe Leydon says:

    Didn’t Fox release those movies, too?

  28. David Poland says:

    Mary… you wouldn’t really assume that Seyfried could open to 10+ on her own, would you?

  29. EthanG says:

    Absolutely. The original five movies were released in the pre-Murdoch era, in which a corporation wasn’t in charge. The Tim Burton movie certainly doesn’t have much of a political agenda…and this most recent, admittedly good film, promotes, if anything, a “science can go too far” theme that happens to coincide with the parent company’s beliefs.

    You know as well as anyone that even today, a timely sci-fi movie can often hit home better than an overtly political one like “Ides of March.” “Minority Report” on the surface seems preposterous, but happened to come out during the Patriot Act legislation following 9/11 and was relevant. “The Island,” a movie well-liked by audiences far more than critics, was at least semi-relevant at the time due to stem-cell/cloning debates.

    Maybe Fox is independent enough for corporate ideology not to factor into its bottom line (given it’s released 4 straight flops especially), but I wouldn’t rule it out given that it just released the most prescient genre film of the last few years, one that directly opposes the current narrative of its networks and publications.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    Ethan: Seriously, I am well aware of the power of stealthy sci-fi allegory, especially in the case of Minority Report.

    I simply don’t think Fox would shoot itself in the corporate foot by refusing to adequately promote a movie because of its political content. Maybe I’m naive in that regard. But I feel that if Fox had no trouble releasing Machete at a time when Faux News hosts were (as usual)frothing at the mouth about illegal immigrants, the studio would not have any trouble releasing In Time right now.

    By the way: Some Righties did take Machete very, very seriously.

  31. actionman says:

    Fear and Loathing is a masterpiece, a true piece of cinematic art. It’s a very specific film for a specific audience, so yeah, I’m not surprised that many people would be turned off by it, or not “get it.” The Rum Diary, however, should be way, way more accessible, as it’s nothing like F&L, at least in book form. Lex — don’t you know that Amber Heard prances around topless for most of TRD?

  32. EthanG says:

    I’d think the average moviegoer would agree that “In Time” is a little more politically relevant than “Machete,” which had a very narrow audience going in, and a budget that was a fraction of the cost as opposed to this film, which could have been marketed much more broadly like “Limitless,” “The Adjustment Bureau,” or “Source Code.”

    Fox had 4 movies to release in a 4 month period. One (Big Year) was un-marketable, another (Whats Your Number) was damn near un-marketable, and a third (Glee) had an audience where non-TV marketing was never going to be a factor. “In Time” was their only possible hit between early August and December…I think it’s odd they didn’t make a harder push.

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    We’ve had this discussion many times on this blog, and it usually boils down to this: One man’s under-marketed movie is another man’s over-hyped movie. In other words, it’s a subjective thing. I think In Time was pretty aggressively marketed. Hell, weeks before its release, David already was weighing in with remarks about how the numbers-on-arms thing made him uneasy. Maybe I simply saw more ads than you because we watch different TV shows? Or read different publications? Or frequent different websites? It’s like, there have been times, I must admit, when I’ve seen a poster on display in a movie theater lobby for a movie I’ve never freakin’ heard of — and a few days later, one of my students (or my own son) will ask me about it. And, mind you, I’m kinda-sorta obligated to remain au courant about this sort of thing.

    Throw it out for general discussion: Was In Time under-marketed?

  34. EthanG says:

    Good point Joe. I think it was better marketed than some fall movies…however, I have a pretty big circle of 20-something friends who I see movies with, and none of them had heard of this thing until a couple weeks before release. Not the case with Source Code, Limitless, or Adjustment Bureau I can guarantee you.

  35. kbx says:

    actionman, amber heard does not “prance around topless” at all in TRD

  36. Martin S says:

    In Time looks like it’s going to get Fox’s ass in a sling. I’m not a big fan of the Ellison, but Ticktockman is reknown. It would be like swiping 451 from Bradbury.

    I can only speak anecdotally towards the marketing because I can only recall seeing the trailer once or twice in DVR passing. But if it was undersold, this could be a case of killing it in the crib as a tactic to dismiss the claim of damaging any future adaptation plans for Ticktockman. The equivalent of a tree falling in the woods…

    3k in screens and only 4mil…I’ll be surprised if this hits 12M for the weekend with Sat being college Halloween night followed by Hangover Sunday…

  37. Joe Leydon says:

    Actionman is such a tease!

  38. chris says:

    So, kbx, you think Actionman is overselling Heard’s toplessness? There may be no prancing but her shirt is certainly off. Twice, as I recall.

  39. Triple Option says:

    I saw In Time, thought it was pretty good. If I did know it at one time I certainly forgot it was Amanda Seyfield in the lead and didn’t know it was her until the end credit. I really didn’t see her trademark dimple.

    I was wondering if Fox’ reluctance, if it was indeed that, to have a bigger US marketing campaign due to the fact that it was a Regency production and not 20th itself? Also, Fox has damn near endless hours and days to preach any political ideology that’s aligned w/ownership, what would it care if one or two movies here or there that run counter to it get released? Rupert’s probably laughing at the irony of him getting paid off a message so many people agree with that casts dudes like him as the villain.

    I’ve never read the book in question about the suit. I don’t know how it would differ between a Lord of the Flies, Bladerunner or any other incarnation containing people w/limited lifespans. Didn’t MTV have a series Dead at 19 or something like that? To me, once you set aside the uniqueness of the premise, I could see a lot of writers kinda going down that same path once they got started. The relationship to the money/top 1% seems unique to this time period, but the inclusion of time-related phrases, terms such as timekeepers, time itself becoming currency (time is money) seem like obvious choices to be made. They undoubtedly don’t occupy the same level of quantities as HIMYM spec scripts but I would guess if you were to run search of similar loglines with the WGA registers office, you wouldn’t have a shortage of hits.

  40. scooterzz says:

    off topic but: i know that actors act and it’s all just make-believe but after seeing danny trejo in ‘harold/kumar 3d xmas’, i’m not sure i can buy his soa stuff….jus’ sayin’…..

  41. cadavra says:

    Murdoch’s ideology generally takes second place to vast amounts of cash. THE SIMPSONS regularly takes hard shots at the parent company and especially Fox News, AMERICAN DAD portrays a flag-waving CIA agent as an utter buffoon, GLEE is the gayest network show ever, and the only really intelligent character on FAMILY GUY is a martini-swilling, Limbaugh-hating dog. As long as these shows continue to generate big bucks, Rupe will look the other way.

  42. kbx says:


    you are correct but actionman is still overselling it IMO

    don’t know where he got his info–but i do remember, and actionman might be relying on this, early reports of actresses supposedly turning down the role due to the extensive nudity involved–people like scarlett johansson and keira knightely

  43. LexG says:

    There are many fine Amber Heard films where she’s naked almost nonstop… Although I particularly enjoy that for THE STEPFATHER, because of the PG-13 she couldn’t technically do her trademark nudity… so they just put her in a string bikini for the entire movie.

    I am still TEAM HEARD, but she was on Carson the other night, and worrisomely seemed to have a new, Botoxy, plasticy looking face. I hope this was just some weird camera angle or makeup or something, but IO was on Twitter and totally agreed she’d had something done. Boo. BOO.

  44. sanj says:

    in time 2011 just got 2.5 / 10 on ROTR / G4 .these guys are uspposed to like scifi films .

    seems like the formula is get at least 3 big name actors
    and get a big movie –

    they could have gotten unknown actors and put this out as a tv movie … syfy channel

    can actors figure out which movie scripts they read are tv movies vs theatre movies ?

    another movie where DP misses getting Olivia Wilde dp/30 .. shes in a movie a month ..

    but Cillian Murphy also needs a dp/30 ..

  45. Krillian says:

    I didn’t feel like marketing was soft, but I knew it had JT, Cillian Murphy, Wilde, Vincent Kartheiser, but completely forgot about Seyfried being in it. JT is not a movie star yet. He is a celebrity.

    As to Rum Diary, It’s always looked like a vanity piece. I thought it was a limited release until a couple weeks ago. Anonymous had better marketing and I thought it would be a wide release until last week.

  46. hcat says:

    While Murdoch runs Newscorp on the whole, I remember a couple interviews where Bill Mechanic (a staunch leftie) said he was completely autonomous when it came to picking film projects, resulting in the right wing company releasing left wing films.

    This has gone on pretty much since Newscorp bought Fox in the 80’s. If you think Machete and In Time might be at odds with the Fox News audience, think back to Bulworth and wonder if that was ever screened at the Murdoch household.

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